Text Resize

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

DC Teacher Residency

Pre-service teachers who train in DCPS schools for a full academic year have the potential to be demonstrably more effective than other novice teachers.


The DC Teacher Residency (DCTR) is a four-year program that prepares recent college graduates, career changers, and outstanding paraprofessionals to be effective teachers in DCPS’s highest-need schools. Supported by the Urban Teachers in collaboration with the DCPS Office of Instructional Practice (OIP), this new residency will allow residents to train in DCPS classrooms alongside high-performing mentor teachers for an entire academic year, in preparation for assuming a lead teaching role in the second through fourth years of the program. At the conclusion of the residency, participants will receive their teaching certification and a Master’s degree with a dual focus in general and special education. For the 2015-16 school year, the DCTR is in 13 schools across DCPS.

Support for Participating Schools

The DCTR supports schools by:

  • Creating an internal, school-based pipeline of novice teachers for our highest-need schools
  • Supporting the recruitment, selection, and school placement of outstanding recent college graduates, career changers, and paraprofessionals as Residents
  • Providing high-quality training, support, and coaching for Residents and Mentor Teachers prior to and throughout the Residency program

Resident Coaching

Throughout all four years of the residency (one year as a Resident and three years as a full-time classroom teacher), residents will receive frequent coaching from Urban Teachers’ trained instructional coaches. Urban Teachers’ coaches will regularly liaise with school leaders, mentor teachers, and school-based coaches to ensure that resident supports are aligned to DCPS’s and the school’s needs and priorities. Additionally, Lesley University faculty will also provide specific feedback to residents through the intentionally sequenced licensure coursework to reinforce the interdependence between theory and practice as an essential component of effective teacher preparation.

Mentor Teacher Professional Development

In order to support mentor teachers in their co-teaching relationship with residents, each mentor teacher will attend an initial day-long training prior to the start of the 2015-16 school year. Additionally, mentor teachers will participate in a professional learning community that will focus on strengthening co-teaching and feedback skills critical to modeling effective instructional practices for residents.

Resident Cohort

Residents will be placed in cohorts at participating schools (between 2 – 4 residents per school), creating a peer group that supports and motivates residents as they grow into effective practitioners. While we recognize that each school’s characteristics and needs are unique, we also know that having an opportunity to engage with colleagues from other settings engaged in the same work has tremendous value. To that end, residents will participate in a cohort experience through their certification courses, as well as engage in regular opportunities to participate in problem solving communities, share resources, and troubleshoot challenges.


In each participating school, two to four residents will train with mentor teachers, serving as co-teachers and providing additional assistance to students within their classrooms. In order to become a resident, current DCPS paraprofessionals or external candidates must formally apply to the DC Teacher Residency (in partnership with Urban Teachers) and pass required Praxis exams.  If selected to advance by DCPS/Urban Teachers, candidates will interview with school leaders to ultimately be chosen for hire in a resident role at a participating DCPS school.

Residents are expected to fulfill all of the basic duties of educational aides / paraprofessionals in the school (such as assisting the lead teacher in student observations, small group work, student assessments, implementing individualized learning programs for students, and addressing the multiple intelligences of students through lesson plans and materials), as well as meeting all program requirements for the residency program with Urban Teachers. These requirements include: attending content specific seminars on evenings and weekends, completing licensure coursework assignments, being observed and implementing feedback from Urban Teachers and DCPS coaches, and tracking student data as a measure of their instructional effectiveness.  Upon successful completion of the residency year, residents will become lead teachers of record (contingent upon school vacancies) for years two through four of the residency program. 

For more information regarding DCPS’s partner provider in the residency pilot, the Urban Teacher, please visit their website at: www.urbanteachers.org.

Urban Teachers Logo